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Collaborative work made with John Harris for 'Spring Time is Heart-Break' at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.
This large scale installation is by far the most ambitious project we have worked on together and we are both thrilled to exhibit it in a public space where many people can experience it. The work lives in a darkened room with high ceilings, sheltered by a patchworked curtain of recycled cotton. Wooden benches hug the curve of the curtains and viewers are invited to enter and sit down. A pole of light inside a slowly spinning column of steel slats casts bold shadows on everything around it, creating a hypnotic visual rhythm to the space. This column sits on a sheet of plastic with two grooves cut into it. These grooves are followed by nylon styli in brass armatures attached to stretched leather speakers, which pick up the vibrations of the grooves and translate them to a low thrumming sound.
This work was a negotiation between our two practices but from the beginning we knew we wanted to make something immersive and expansive. During our conversations John and I both found ourselves agreeing that we didn't want the work to demand interpretation or deciphering, instead offering viewers an embodied experience of a sensory environment. We aren't often in spaces where we can arrive and have nothing required of us, we hoped that we could create such an environment through this work. When reflecting on what this means to me I think the beauty of togetherness and human relationships. I think about the communion we have shared as a species from the very beginnings of our story, the communications that existed long before language. I think about sharing space with strangers, and with loved ones. I think about being enveloped with cloth made up from several smaller pieces to make a whole. I think about songs that, though they may be sung by many voices, are eternal.